On Earth Day in 2009, Indie Lee was given a second chance at life after surviving from a potentially fatal brain tumor. When she learned that environmental toxins could have been the cause, Lee devoted her energy to creating natural beauty products. “A lot of the time we are unknowingly putting unnatural and unhealthy ingredients on our body,” said Lee. “I wanted to empower the public by providing a healthier choice.”
Lee, who began her namesake beauty company in 2009 with homemade treatments made from the ingredients in her garden, will enter Henri Bendel on Earth Day, April 22, with her rebranded, repackaged line. “Partnering with Henri Bendel is an incredible experience and will be a big step forward for the brand,” said Lee. “I get emotional thinking about it because this has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl.”
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Also available on Opensky.com for the last year and at Indielee.com, industry sources estimate the new distribution channel could add $100,000 in retail sales by the year’s end.
Lee’s line, which is a complete all-natural skin-care range that includes antiaging creams, blemish sticks and facial serums made from apple stem cells, still contains some of Lee’s garden-grown materials, such as calendula flower. The most prominent ingredient found in almost all of Indie Lee’s products is olive-derived squalane. “Squalane has hydration power,” explained Lee. “It is an antioxidant that normalizes the skin’s oil production and is produced naturally by our own bodies. After [age] 26 we don’t produce as much [squalane], which can lead to rosacea, oily or even dry skin.”
The Indie Lee brand began gaining a serious following after Molly Sims featured the Body Scrub and Body Balm on Opensky.com. “The model of OpenSky is social shopping,” explained Lee. “It is a great platform that enables us to interact with all potential customers and get the products out there.”